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In years past Norfolk had been the largest naval installation of one of the most powerful navies. It had accomodations for warships, airplanes, and thousands of military personnel. By some twist of fate, the bombs that fell all those years ago missed the larger warships, the aircraft carriers, and their battlegroups, the ships underway on exercises or deployments. Those ships that were left at pierside were cannibalized to keep the ships still in their posession running. For anything they couldn't cannibalize they held raids on similar stations found along the coast and overseas. But the one precious comodity they needed most was oil.
The lifeblood of modern warfare, oil is refined into several other compounds vital to operations: kerosene, diesel, JP-5, lube oil, VVL-800, etc. There were rigs in the northern ocean and in the gulf of Mexico but without refineries the rigs were worthless. The Norfolkians searched up and down the coast and throughout the gulf for a refinery finding it in the most hostile territory.
The savages of the Green Beret Tribe were feared by the Norfolkian Marines and respected by their SEALs, but they needed that refinery. The decision was made by The Old Man to take the refinery.
"We need that refinery. Take it, even if you have to slaughter a thousand of those savages." was his order. Two Amphibious Battle Groups and a Carrier Battle Group set sail, loaded down for bear. They shelled the port town of Galveston for a week straight before sending their raiding parties ashore, straight into a meat grinder. The Tribesmen got in uncomfortably close to the Marines, tearing them apart despite a renewed shore bombardment. The Battlegroup Commander made the choice to send in their best sailors: SEALs.
Deployed via helicopter, the SEALs swept in on wings of war, their paths paved with bullets and bodies. They cut off the Tribesmen from their reinforcements, blowing several bridges leading to the mainland and commenced a pincer attack, encircling the Tribesmen and taking them prisoner.
Conceeding defeat, their Chieftan arrived to negotiate a pact with the pirates. The Tribesmen showed their respect to the abilities of the SEALs, describing their willingness to brave fire for their comrades and their reluctance to stay down. The Norfolkians and the Tribesmen traded the services of the refineries in their posession for the oil the Norfolkians drilled from the rigs they had. In return the Tribesmen would allow the Norfolkians to use ports on the Texas coast for replenishment and resupply. This treaty is what keeps the Invincible Fleet sailing.
Naval Station Norfolk...
Pirates bustled about both pierside and aboard the amphibious assault ship, tied up at Pier 8. The ship was taking on provisions and small arms ammunition, replenishing what was depleted during a relatively low scale raid in the British Isles. The working party that had been called consisted of those who had declined to join the ranks of the pirates. MAs stood guard over them, shotguns in hand. Two had vicious dogs on very long leashes. They had already mauled one man who tried to make a break for it. Up on the flight deck a group of pirates lounged around an open 20mm ammunition can. They tapped ashes from cigaretted into the can, watching the working party from seventy feet up.
"It'd be so much easier if they'd just say yes." one pirate commented as he lit a new cigarette with his old one.
"Not all of them see benefits of enlisted service." a pirate wearing fatigues and a flak jacket replied. "They think their countrymen will come save them." That elicted a laugh from the other pirates shortening their lives with each puff.
"I could have killed them easily." the largest of the congregation said. He was a big man with skin as dark as the night sky. An African who accepted the terms of enlisted service after seeing how much damage the pirates had done in a twenty minute raid on his coastal village.
"Sledge, I could rip them a new one with my pocket knife."
"Mike, you say that about everyone." the Pirate in fatigues said.
"What? I love my knife. I've killed a lot of people with it." Mike snapped back.
"I think you three have better things to do than just stand around and bullshit." a new arrival said. All three men snapped upright, the khaki clad sailor lighting up.
"I'm not an officer, you fuckers." Senior Chief Gunner's Mate Howard 'Seiger' Steiner said as he pocketed his pack of cigarettes and took a long drag on the cancer stick. The other pirates relaxed, looking back over the side. An MA was pistol whipping one of the prisoners, dragging him away from the brow towards the dogs. They could hear him screaming, the dogs barking.
"I heard we got some new guys in." Mike said, bringing everyone back.
"Yeah. We got a new Mike." Steiner replied, taking a quick drag as a pair of helicopters flew out of the airfield. They passed over the piers and headed out to the bay.
"What are we calling this one?" Mike asked.
"Fat Mike. He's a bit pudgy, hence the adjective."
"One Mike is bad enough. Two Mikes is a disaster waiting to happen." Sledge interjected as he put his cigarette out, depositing it into the ammo can.
"Hey, Sledge, you going to the barber shop?" Flak Jacket asked, putting his cancer stick out.
"Give me twenty minutes. Why?"
"I've got a uniform inspection tomorrow and I need the trim."
"Give me ten minutes then." Steiner and Mike remained up on the flight deck, watching a cargo plane land at the airfield. The dogs were barking again.
"Yeah, this is getting agravatting..." Steiner swore, putting his cigarette out then walking back toward the ship's island. Flak Jacket was quick to follow.
"You got liberty today, right Senior?" the pirate asked Steiner. He nodded his reply. "You mind picking up some more smokes for me?"
"Sure... It's on me."